When in Manila, there are upscale clubs that could spice up your night life, but amidst all that wild fun, you should also pay attention to their dining counterparts. The most perfect example for this case would be Opus! Known to be one of the “IT” nightclubs in the metro, it actually has a restaurant of its own that’s worth raving over!
From the outer facade alone, you will see how Opus screams of posh and elegance. First step in, you’ll get to see their bar…
…a few more strides and you’ll be at their dining spot. An unusual floor where sections are encased in glass; you could even request for the curtains to cover your room in case you would want some added privacy.
A vibe of rustic and renaissance, the interiors scream luxury: the walls are adorned with murals and the area are either in comfy booths or high-back chairs, complete with wood and metal tables.
Going to the lounge area from the dining room would be like travelling time: olden to futuristic. I especially love the intricate elements as well as the oddly-shaped chrome DJ post in front.
But of course, we were there to dine!
Through the notorious Chef Carlo Miguel, Opus brings to life a modernist restaurant that smashes the traditional culinary experience. An ‘anti-French restaurant’, Chef Carlo assures that there will be no pretensions, no stiff settings, and no right or wrong way to dine. Given his unique dishes, everything is as he says: “open to interpretation.“
To start the night, we were told that we will be first served with salad. The waiter came in to place a plate looking like this:
Made of crispy prosciutto (representing bacon), anchovy, croutons and egg salsa, I went all: “Wait, is this salad?” And as if that wasn’t enough of a surprise, the waiter came in with a teapot and poured a green sauce. In my head I was already thinking: “What’s going on here?“
I went in and took a bite….
It was Caesar salad.
To be precise: Caesar Salad Soup (P280).
A bit odd at first, but after every bite, I just couldn’t get enough of it! Apparently, the sauce was called as velouté in French and usually, it’s made of stock (chicken or fish for instance) but Chef Carlo, in the spirit of calling it salad, used romaine lettuce! I was blown away! At certain points I didn’t even notice that I was laughing. Chef Carlo pointed that out and said, “That! That’s the reaction I’m looking for!” (Like come on, just look at my picture above, look at that big toothy smile! Haha!)
I ain’t gonna deny it: it was fun! The dish surprised me very much…. yet that didn’t stop there though! That was only the first starter!
Up next, we were served with yet another salad: the Modernist Caprese Salad (P380).
This time, it looked like salad; but what made it up surprised me yet again.
For instance, have you ever tried tomatoes that are turned into ice sorbets? Well with Opus, I did! Those are the orange-y parts that you see in the picture. Other than the basil leaves surrounding the ensemble, worthy to note as well are the black caviar spread about the plate, giving the salad a distinct balsamic taste. And then, another interesting part: the buffalo mozzarella pearls! You have to be careful in scooping this up; careful not to break it! ‘Break’ it only when it’s inside your mouth because you’ll surely be trapped in that expression: “Party in my mouth!“
On to the meals, we were served with their Duck and Foie Gras Sisig (P420). I must say that this is the kind of sisig that I could eat ALL DAY LONG. The ‘sisig’ part of this that was topped on a smooth risotto was made of duck leg meat and then mixed with chopped foie gras and chicharon. This was very creamy and savory! It’s not the usual Pinoy sisig, but this would suit your palate very well.
See the foamy thing on top? That’s calamansi air! And then it was also served with Knorr foam because no sisig is complete without the good ol’ Knorr!
Delving deeper into Chef Carlo bold creations, we had a Crispy Chicken Salmon Fillet (P620) that was made up of salmon, Chilean mussels, coriander gnocchi, coconut sauce and foamy kaffir lime sauce. Note-worthy about this is the well-cooked salmon and its overall Thai-esque flavor.
For meat lovers, you’ll favor Opus’ Sous Vide Aged U.S. Beef Short Ribs (Php 980) that was cooked sous vide for 2 days! So expect that you wouldn’t need your knife; this baby was as tender as could be! Likeable as well on this dish is the baked onions on the side that has mixed bacon in it!
Off to desserts: we had Opus’ Banoffee Pie 2012 (Php 280). Yet another dish that made me giggle; this is Chef Carlo’ take on the good ol’ Banoffee Pie. Deconstructing it like machinery and segregating it into parts: I loved the caramelized banana slices with all that crunchiness on the outside, and then with your control, you’ll get to have as much dose of peanut powder, graham powder, or frozen dulce de leche ice cream.
So how about a cigar for dessert? *wink*
Chocolate Bacon and Hazelnut Cigar (Php 280) looked like a cigar placed on an ashtray. Best to eat this from both ends to taste the two ice creams: chocolate bacon and hazelnut. I must say that I enjoyed eating this with the way the chocolate wrap crackles with every slice of my fork! YUM!
Of course we wouldn’t leave without having a taste of their dynamic signature cocktails which are also served at the Opus Lounge.
SPECIALTY COCKTAILS: The below drink is made of strawberries and lemons mixed with Absolut Vanilla Vodka: to make it even more interesting, it was even drizzled with Balsamic vinegar reduction and coarse cracked pepper!
Another this White Peach Margarita that has Cuervo 1800, and then further mixed with strawberry puree and specked with pink salt and sugar on the rim.
And my favorite cocktail: Molecular Lychee Martini! This was topped with an organic coconut foam that I loooooved eating separately, haha! I’m sorry but it was just too good! You’ll have a sweet surprise when you’re about to finish this drink because there’s a small molecular lychee fruit garnish at the bottom of the martini to surprise you!
Overall, Opus Restaurant treats its selections like precious art pieces. Every dish and every drink was prepared meticulously, constantly setting itself apart from what you would normally and traditionally expect. They even change their menu regularly! So When in Manila and you want to dine in a restaurant that would give you a fun and surprising experience, try Opus! It will make you rediscover the joy of eating dishes that are unconventional and new.
OPUS Restaurant & Lounge